Pay-TV Market Gets a Boost in MENA Region


LONDON: The number of pay-TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to double between 2011 and 2018, reaching 16 million, according to Digital TV Research, which forecasts that the proportion legitimately paying for signals is also going to rise considerably. 

A new report from the group finds that fewer than 15 percent of TV households in the MENA region legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2012, but this is forecast to climb to 21.6 percent by 2018. Report author Simon Murray said: “Legitimate pay TV revenues [for the 16 countries covered in the report] will grow by more than 42 percent between 2012 and 2018 to $4.76 billion. Turkey accounts for more than half of the total.”

DTH is expected to continue its dominance in the pay-TV market, accounting for 71 percent of the revenues in 2018. DTH revenues are expected to ring in at $3.39 billion in 2008, up by more than $1 billion from 2012 and more than double that from 2008. Turkey is the leader in this, accounting for $1.95 billion of the 2018 total. Regional pay DTH penetration is forecast to rise from 6.2 percent in 2008 to 13.7 percent in 2018, with subscribers soaring from 3.9 million to 10.1 million.

The number of homes paying for IPTV is expected to overtake cable subs in 2016. Turkey is again leading, along with Egypt, for IPTV subscribers. Penetration is also expected to be strong in Cyprus, Qatar and the UAE. Overall IPTV revenues will more than quadruple between 2012 and 2018, when they will reach $644 million.

Analogue penetration is falling and conversation to digital is set to pick up pace, though 9.6 percent of homes will still be receiving analogue signals by 2018, most of which will be in Egypt. Free-to-air DTT will benefit the most from the converting homes, increasing from a 2.6-percent TV household penetration to 15.8-percent penetration by 2018. Digital TV penetration will exceed 90 percent of TV households by 2018; more than 54 percent of TV households watch free-to-air DTH signals.